Spotlight – Josh Woodward

kus- Free MP3 Download, Blog, Creative Commons, Video

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A guy with his guitar who probably needs no introduction for listener who are into Creative Commons music. It’s a great honour for us to have one of those rare interviews with the overly friendly and humble Josh Woodward. He’s the prototype of a new rock star with no local audience, but a huge community on the internet.

Please introduce yourself to our listeners.
Greetings! I’m a singer-songwriter from Ann Arbor, MI with 12 albums of acoustic rock music available for free under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

What’s your focus with your music?
I think that most artists, myself included, have a hard time describing their musical or lyrical focus, even when it’s obvious to everyone else. What makes an artist unique is usually just what seems normal to them. But I’d say my focus is on creating music that taps into deeper storylines and darker themes, bittersweet yet optimistic.

How do you define and measure your success?
I’ve always avoided anything that feels like aggressively marketing myself, or treating my music too much like a business. I also don’t really worry too much about how large of an audience I have. I define success as the feeling I have when I listen through a finished mix of a new song and have that feeling like I created something I’m proud of. There’s not a good way to measure that, but part of why I’m still excited about the process after over 200 songs is that I don’t worry too much about anything except what’s happening inside of my own head.

What Creative Commons license are you using and why have you chosen it?
I use the Creative Commons Attribution license. I started off long ago with the more restrictive Non-Commercial and No-Derivatives clauses, but I dropped them quickly when I realized that the exposure I would get from the liberal Attribution license would be much better for exposure. Best decision I ever made with my music!

Please pick three tracks from your work that best represents you. Why did you choose them? Can you tell us something about the creation process?
I seem to have a few primary musical personalities, so here are my favorites from those:

Upbeat Pop/Rock: “Swansong”. Back in 2003, I found a website called SongFight.org, which was a weekly songwriting competition where I got my start on the internet. I did tons of those for a while, then gave up to focus on fewer songs. A few years after I retired, I came back for a week to write “Swansong”, which is ostensibly about coming back to an old lover, but was actually written about SongFight itself.

Acoustic: “Border Blaster”. This is a song from the perspective of an undocumented worker coming across the border from Mexico. This was one of those times when I said exactly what was in my brain, just as I’d wanted to say it.

Dark: “Sugar On My Tongue”. A subset of my songs are so dark that I know they’re not ever going to be remotely popular, but I personally love them so I keep doing them anyway. This is an example of these, a song about being stuck in a house alone over the winter, and slowly losing your grip on reality.

Why do you give away the music for free?
At first, it was just a matter of my music already being online through SongFight for free, so it felt weird to charge. Plus, I didn’t think anyone would want to pay. As my audience grew, I realized quickly that it was a result of the freedom of the license. YouTube uses, in particular, have been a huge source of exposure for me. The videos using my money have cumulatively had over a billion views. Even if only a small percentage of them translate into people searching out the music they heard, that’s a huge number.

How are you connected, networked within your country and worldwide?
One of the strangest aspects of my situation is that it’s a truly international audience. I stopped playing live shows when my internet exposure had picked up around 2007, which means that I don’t have a local audience to speak of. On the other hand, I have large audiences in countries like Brazil, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Germany, and more. For the last Kickstarter I did, over two-thirds of the CDs I shipped went overseas. There’s not a huge concentration in any given city, so touring is still probably not very practical, but for my situation, I love hearing from people around the world.

Do you have new or upcoming works that can be interesting for listeners?
As a matter of fact, I’m almost done with working on not one, but two new albums. I’ve written a few dozen songs since my last release, so I’m planning on choosing some of those for a light-sounding and a dark-sounding CD. I’ve been obsessing over them the past month, and I’m planning on launching a Kickstarter in early January, and hopefully releasing the albums in February!

Looking forward to it and thank you for the interview

Spotlight – Myuu

kus- Free MP3 Download, Blog, Creative Commons

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Dark piano music is German Myuu’s passion. He’s an early Youtube adopter and updates his channel regularly. The creepy to horror influenced compositions delight many listeners. We had the chance to talk to Myuu.

Myuu, please introduce yourself to our listeners.
Hey there, I am Nicolas Gasparini, better known as horror composer Myuu or Myuuji (YouTube). Classically trained pianist for over 15 years and studied music at the University of Siegen. I have started my YouTube channel back in 2006 with dark piano covers, since 2011 I have been writing and producing original dark music for many creators. My uploaded music is free-to-use for everyone as long as credit will be given (Creative Commons license).

What’s your focus with your music?
I always try to make the music sound creepy and beautiful at the same time.

You’re pretty successful. How do you define and measure your success?
I really do appreciate that people like my music. Many of them found my compositions by watching scary videos on YouTube. Narrators, animators, let’s players, video game developers and filmmakers use my music in their work as background music and mood setter.

How did the Creative Commons license help you with your career?
I am able to give out my music for free under simple conditions and terms anyone can understand. No contracts or overwhelming paperwork needed. This helps both the composer and end-user.

Please pick three tracks from your work that best represents you. Why did you choose them? Can you tell us something about the creation process?

Scent of Night represents my “creepy but beautiful” dark piano genre.
Originally this song was written for the creepypasta community. Creepypastas are scary stories on the internet, written by horror fans for horror fans. The stories started out just as written form on websites but now are a big part of YouTube as well (narrated by YouTubers in audio drama quality).


A sad and emotional piano composition. A little bit romantic too. The song tells a story but I won’t go into details. I usually want that everyone creates his own stories and worlds by listening to the music.


Dark orchestra music. I love the music box here. It’s a 3/4 measure song. Playful, childish and dreamy.

Why do you give away the music for free?
For me it’s a great way to share art. And it’s a win-win for everyone. Free music for the listener, free music for content creators and thanks to Creative Commons free promotion for the music.

How are you connected, networked within your country and worldwide?
Most of my colleagues live in the United States. They are succesful content creators on YouTube. I also stay in touch with the brazilian community, they are very passionate. A small team of brazilian game developers just released their new mobile phone game “Dead Christmas” with my music.

I live in Germany right now and did some collaborations with content creators and companies here. I produced and released a full audio book with a german narrator together (has been released on iTunes/GooglePlay/Amazon) and have a little partnership with a studio here (Cinematique Instruments). They release amazing sound libraries.

Do you have new or upcoming works that can be interesting for listeners?
I just released a new 2-track single for the Holidays: “Carol of the Bells / Jingle Bells” dark piano versions.

iTunes ► http://itun.es/i6SN2ry
Google Play ► http://bit.ly/1OR9tEl
Amazon ► http://amzn.to/1IEUX1v
Bandcamp (FLAC, MP3, + Sheet Music) ► http://bit.ly/1OinZQT

They are also on my Youtube channel.

What did we forget to ask?
What is your favorite sandwich at Subway?
I love eating and I love their stuff, I could talk about this all day.

Thank you very much for your answers.

Thank you for having me! I really appreciate it.

Spotlight: Patrick P.

kus- Free MP3 Download, Blog, Creative Commons

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A spoon of minimal, a touch of house, but always groovy and produced with Ableton live: That’s Patrick P. from Austria.

What’s your focus with your music?
Make as many people happy as possible.

How do you define and measure your success?
Success is not important, either you like the tracks or not, and apparently the people like it!

What Creative Commons license are you using and why have you chosen it?
I love music, minimal and to perform live amuses me. That’s why I work with Ableton Live. It’s because the session view has many cool live options.

Please pick three tracks from your work that best represents you. Why did you choose them? Can you tell us something about the creation process?


Nirvana is one of my favorite songs, it’s a live track, it’s so great because Nirvana best fits and consists of natural instruments. I produced it in a difficult time for me.


Morning sun is also a live track. The one about my best will, it meets my style class.


Et moi, a great track in its simplicity. It’s great although the track does not have many tracks. It’s run a looser and good song for fine summer evenings.

Why do you give away the music for free?
I also make tracks that are released on labels and are sold, but I think it’s not about the money, but simply a matter of joy to carry on. That’s why my mixes are free, so everyone can enjoy them.

How are you connected, networked within your country and worldwide?
So SoundCloud is a great thing since everyone reaches the last regions of the world. Of course I have Facebook and a wide range of listeners!

Do you have new or upcoming works that can be interesting for listeners?
This winter there are cool tracks and mixes to listen to. All the information and news can be found on my SoundCloud.

What did we forget to ask?
What does the future bring?
As long as people hear my tracks and download diligently I will keep my direction. But I always work on new tracks!

Thank you very much for the interview and good luck.

Spotlight: Alec Troniq

kus- Free MP3 Download, Blog, Creative Commons

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Alec Troniq from Germany has a busy year behind. His project “Groove Symphony” was one of the highlights. Ladies and gentleman, please welcome on stage: Alec Troniq

Please introduce yourself to our listeners.
Hi, I’m Alec Troniq :)

Nice to meet you. What’s your focus with your music?
Well, when I’m yearning for a tune, that is not existing out there yet in the particular way I want, then I create it. My focus is on energy and originality.

You’re pretty successful, what you think?
Talking about success is a very unsexy way to kill the vibe of music and powerful moments. To me music is not a vehicle for careers. But indeed it was a fabulous year, highlighted by playing the „Groove Symphony“ with the Dortmunder Philharmoniker orchestra and Gabriel Vitel.

You’re right. Please pick three tracks from your work that best represents you. Why did you choose them? Can you tell us something about the creation process?

I choose them because I love that dirty and rough sound. Figuratively they sound more like wood that like plastic. At the same time they have a very passionful soul and a dynamic energy. Their creation was a tough job, very very elaborate.

Why do you give away the music for free?
I just do it now and then. Mostly when they have an experimental background. It’s a gift on a more direct way from the artist to the people. And it’s a legitimate deal: take it for free and respe ct the work.

Do you have new or upcoming works that can be interesting for listeners?

Oh yes, a lot. But… do you know that tinkling feeling, when you want to tell someone the greatest joke you’ve ever heard, but you don’t remember the right words? I can’t explain them, I’d love to show you –

so hear em when they’re out :)

Greetings to Dresden and thank you for the interview

Spotlight: Roger Subirana

kus- Free MP3 Download, Blog, Creative Commons

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One of the wonderful things about running starfrosch is, when you can be in contact with extraordinary people. People like Roger Subirana, an autodidact who reaches millions of listeners. Here are his thoughts.

Please introduce yourself.
I’m a composer born in 1978 in Vilafranca del Penedès (Barcelona). Self-taught, I began to compose my own creations at the age of 12. Although I perform live, I consider myself more a composer and producer than a singer. My discography is about 8 CDs strong. In addition to my personal productions, I’ve composed many styles like classical, jazz, new age or Celtic, through electronic to techno or symphonic rock. I’ve done compositions for films, TV, theaters, dance, etc. My last soundtrack was the original soundtrack for the official film of the history of the FC Barcelona “Barcelona Dreams” (2015) directed by Jordi Llompart and distributed by Filmax International. My compositional work also covers the field of advertising. My music has been part of major international brands such as Shiseido, Inverse or Ducati.

What’s your focus with your music?
I compose my own music ​​as a personal diary where I explain my inner life through the music.

How do you define and measure your success?
I think that real success is, when you compose music for your own needs, without thinking it’s going to be liked by anyone. But then you see and feel that a lot of people like and feel your work very much. When this happens, it’s like a real treasure.

How did the Creative Commons license help you with your career?
CCommons license, mostly thanks to Jamendo’s platform, has made my music known by millions of people.

Please pick three tracks from your work that best represents you. Why did you choose them? Can you tell us something about the creation process?


Shednerya is just one track with a duration of 60 minutes with over 850 tracks of instruments. Since I was a child it was a dream to compose some kind of suite like the 70’s groups Yes, Oldfield, etc. did, but in my own style.


The orchestral point of no return: Point of no return is a special track. I think that is the song that touched most of the people. The original was composed in 2008 and this more orchestral version was composed in 2013. With more mature style, I think.


Between worlds: I think that is another special composition for me, because you can find at same time the sweet and the subtlety of the music with few instruments and fragments. We can find epic passages with a lot of instrumentation.

Why do you give away the music for free?
Well in fact CCommons is not synonymous for free. In my case, it’s only free for personal use. It’s not allowed to use my music in commercial works. In other words: “Enjoy this music and share if you like, but if you make money using this music, give me a little part of it”. It is a fair way for listeners and musicians.

How are you connected, networked within your country and worldwide?
www.rogersubirana.com
Facebook
Youtube
Bandcamp
Itunes
Jamendo

Do you have new or upcoming works that can be interesting for listeners?
Oh yes. Now I’m working on my 9th CD. I think it will appear next year.

What did we forget to ask?
Hmmm, a lot of people ask me about the lyrics of some songs. My songs are small soundtracks and the voice is used as a pure instrument, for this reason the lyrics are phonetic and have no meanings. It’s not a new thing, in the past Wim Mertens or Adiemus, for example, did something similar.

Thank you very much for the interview. It’s a pleasure to meet you